The news overnight on the US-Iran front is set to push the domestic indices higher today as oil prices recede to their cheapest level since mid-December.
The United States and Iran backed away from the brink of further conflict in the Middle east as US President Donald Trump said Iran’s missile strikes had not harmed any Americans and that Tehran appeared to be "standing down". On its part, Iran has offered no immediate signal it would retaliate further to the January 3 strike.
Oil reversed its gains and now sits cheaper than it was before the killing of the Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani. Brent futures nursed overnight losses of 4 per cent to trade at $65.44 per barrel.
Besides this, investors will now shift their focus to the December quarter results and pre-Budget newsflow. Stock-specific development, the Rupee's trajectory, and foreign fund flows will also affect sentiment.
Shares of Bharti Airtel will be in focus today as the wireless telephony major has begun marketing its $2-billion equity issuance to institutional investors. The fundraising is meant to pay the AGR dues to the central government within the January 23 deadline set by the Supreme Court. The company will also raise an additional $1 billion as convertible bonds due in 2025.
Globally, US stocks ended higher on Wednesday on positive newsflow on the US-Iran front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.56 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.67 per cent. Asian stocks also rebounded on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei was trading 1.6 per cent higher while Australian shares added a percentage point. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1 per cent. SGX Nifty is also indicating a positive start for the domestic indices.
Back home, the Indian equity markets ended Wednesday's volatile session with mild losses. The S&P BSE Sensex settled at 40,800 level, down 52 points and the Nifty50 index closed at 12,025-mark, down 28 points.
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